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PLoS Comput Biol. 2013;9(12):e1003413. doi: 10.1371/journal.pcbi.1003413. Epub 2013 Dec 26.

The spirit of competition: to win or not to win.

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Institute of Genetics and Biotechnology, Faculty of Biology, University of Warsaw, Warsaw, Poland ; Institute of Biochemistry and Biophysics, Polish Academy of Sciences, Warsaw, Poland.
Genetic Research Section, Center for Earth Surface System Dynamics, Atmosphere and Ocean Research Institute, the University of Tokyo, Kashiwa, Chiba, Japan.
Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, United States of America ; VIB Department of Plant Systems Biology, Ghent University, Belgium.


A competition is a contest between individuals or groups. The gain is often an award or recognition, which serves as a catalyst to motivate individuals to put forth their very best. Such events for recognition and success are part of many International Society for Computational Biology (ISCB) Student Council Regional Student Groups (RSGs) activities. These include a popular science article contest, a Wikipedia article competition, travel grants, poster and oral presentation awards during conferences, and quizzes at social events. Organizing competitions is no different than any other event; they require a lot of hard work to be successful. Each event gives remarkable organizational and social experience for students running it, while at the same time the participants of the competitions are rewarded by prizes and recognition. It gives everybody involved an opportunity to demonstrate their extraordinary talents and skills. Competitions are unique because they bring out both the best and worst in people.

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